Performance Of Next Tesla Roadster To Be Limited By Lawyers?



Old Tesla Roadster

Old Tesla Roadster


Criswell predicts TeslaMondoTesla is one of the reasons why sports cars are moribund, according to this Bloomberg article. It’s hard to get too excited about your Little Deuce Coupe when it’s not just outmoded but flatly outperformed by a 5000-lb SUV. And in the broader context, of course, driving itself may be moribund thanks to Tesla and other robo-driving pioneers — so why spend your dough on a driving machine?

Yet Tesla apparently is plotting a Roadster revival. This makes no sense, which means it makes perfect sense for Tesla. One wonders about the new Roadster’s stats. It would have to handle better than its stablemates, but that’s a given. What about outright acceleration? Well, that’s the upshot of this post. Tesla may be pushing yet another frontier: The limits of the average human body.

If the new Roadster much faster than a Ludicrous S, it could cause neck injuries, blackouts or heart attacks, and that’s no joke. The human body can withstand only so much. We’ve seen videos of elders subjected to surprise Ludicrious runs. So far no tragedies, but that’s a miracle, truly. It’s tantamount to throwing your great aunt out a second-story window. Even if she lands safely in a vat of pudding, it’s still unwise.

So TeslaMondo hereby makes another obscure prediction that nobody will remember by the time the Roadster is resurrected: It won’t accelerate any faster than a Ludicrous S. Lawyers rule the world, and they will rule against neck-snapping acceleration before it becomes literal.

You’re thinking a legal disclaimer could accompany the selection of “Maximum Plaid” on the Roadster’s screen? Sure it could, but Tesla won’t bet the farm on a disclaimer, especially not in the US of A, where every motorist has a lawyer on speed-dial.

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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69 Comments on "Performance Of Next Tesla Roadster To Be Limited By Lawyers?"

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2.3 seconds to 60 should do it.

Like Porsche 918 will be good enough, but first some cheaper models.

Ilegal performance! I doubt if there could be any better marketing measure for the new Roadster.

just what I was thinking.

Yes, but do they really think that handling and initial acceleration are all that matter?
How about higher 30-60 acceleration? Or that above 60?
And of course longer duration at high performance.

The new roadster should aalso be able to win all texas mile races.
It should be able to race around a track at full blast with no power reduction neccessary.

You have to leave SOMETHING that gas cars are still better at

They will always be better at the stink.

“We’ve seen videos of elders subjected to surprise Ludicrious runs.”

The people who do this are called morons and A-holes. Everything is funny until grandma dies in your seat.

“It’s hard to get too excited about your Little Deuce Coupe when it’s not just outmoded but flatly outperformed by a 5000-lb SUV.”

I’m sorry, but I disagree with your one-dimensional assessment of “performance”. That 5000-lb SUV will out accelerate most sports cars, but it will never be able to carve corners like one. It will never connect the driver to the road like an aggressive, low-slung sports car. It can’t touch that kind of performance. And that is what sells sports cars, not straight-line acceleration. People who only care about that buy muscle cars.

You can’t get a lower slung COG than a BEV with batteries in the floor…

True. But as soon as you put the seats on top of a battery, you have moved them farther from the road. This ruins the whole experience of driving a sports car in the first place. Moreover, the sheer momentum of a 5000-lb behemoth is hard to turn, regardless of how much power you put to the wheels.

IMO, the ultimate sports car would be 100% electric, but the battery would focus on being light rather than long-range. Putting even 73kWh of today’s battery tech (the recent Roadster upgrade, IIRC) is still heavy. By the time the next Roadster hits the street, batteries will have improved. But I personally still hope that Tesla aims for a 200 mile range and not a 400 mile range.

EDIT/Clarification: by “moved them farther from the road”, I am referring to the seats and those sitting in the seats, not the batteries. Re-reading what I wrote, I’m not sure that was clear.

Pack size is proportional to maximum power, all things equal. My mind thinks maybe there are capacitor tricks a system designer could do, but it didn’t actually do grad work on caps like Musk’s mind did. And Musk’s Tesla is the best evidence of the pack size-pack power rule.

Yeah sure!
What about a 50 tons jetfighter?
I guarantee that there is no match in any sports car and I include F1.
G acceleration is all this is about, whether it is in cornering, or looping, or just straight out dead start or shooting for the sky.
Just to say, that weight can be counter balance by substantial amount of power.

Lol! What about it? A jet figher has very little to do with this discussion. Yes, of course massive amounts of power can overcome mass. In fact, F=ma in Newton’s approximation, so a larger mass just needs a proportionally larger force to accelerate it.

There are other factors such as traction and body roll which are much harder to maintain when cornering a 5000lb SUV.

Innovation seems to be the answer.

Try – the first production sports car with a Hans device built into the seating system. Sensors detect whether the Hans device and helmet are being worn by driver and passenger – much like today’s cars sense whether a child is seated in the front passenger seat – thus disengaging the airbag or sending a warning signal.

The Hans device attaches to the helmet and thus both must be worn if driver is to engage “Space-X Mode” in the gen 2 Roadster.

Simple – problem solved! Now let’s go
0-60 mph in 1.8 seconds!

Dual Motor Roaster shouldn’t be a problem, since Tesla has plenty of experience with that configuration now. Maybe they’d try a Quad Motor arrangement, just to experiment with something new?

People have been citing physical limits of instantaneous speed ramps with EVs, but with a microprocessor controlled AC Induction Motor, you can program a ‘softened’ delta curve to get around jerking people’s bodies around, then continue to ramp the power in a controlled way, millisecond by millisecond.

I think another Roadster would just be pointless. Tesla needed the first one to raise interest in electric cars and show that they can be viable. However, Tesla is not a sports car company and they don’t have to prove that again. Sports cars don’t really make any money and they are a very small polluter (because there relatively few of them on the roads) so it would just be a futile and costly exercise. Tesla needs to focus on the masses so the next car after the 3 should be either a pickup truck or a light commercial vehicle (possibly both at the same time).

“Sports cars don’t really make any money”

Well, that depends on the sports car… Imagine if Tesla makes an electric sports car that’s the same as the Mazda MX-5 (Miata) in the ICE segment. It would sell like crazy and probably make quite a lot of money 🙂

I agree. Tesla should copy Mercedes and Volvo and set up separate subsidiary companies to build EV buses and EV trucks (tractor trailers and box trucks). Replacing ICE buses and big trucks with EV versions will have a much more immediate and much greater impact on reducing CO2 emissions than electrifying a small niche in the light passenger vehicle segment.

I’m not saying a sports car should be the only thing they do. I agree with you, they should make trucks (buses, well, not necessarily, that’s a too different market segment), but EVs, as much as we’d like them to be, are still not appealing to the masses. And what other way is there to make a car appealing than to make it a sports car? That’s how Tesla began, it’s probable that they have though about this plan

People poo-poo big rig EVs because of the pack size and weight. But all I can think of when I see at semi absorbing half a megawatt of power as heat and engine resistance while braking is holy #&$**!@ing crap, why don’t people make hybrid freighter drive trains.


Maybe this was humor and I didn’t see it; if so, I apologize.

Freight trains and passenger trains are often electric, but those that are not are serial hybrids (like range extenders, but no external charging). For some reason it’s called “diesel-electric” rather than hybrid for trains…

A ‘semi’ is a jolly big, articulated truck weighing a maximum of 60 tonnes – 60,000kg (in Europe) – not a train.

To actually answer your question…

Because it is not in the interests of Big Oil to have all of America’s big rigs running around efficiently… if it were, 2/3 of the US’ freight would be on trains where they jolly well should be! It was Big Oil that destroyed the US’ railways (and tramways) in a humungous conspiracy that was only achieved with the cooperation of successive governments over a period of 50 years or so early in the last century.

A bit of a slap in the face for all those pioneering railway engineers and labourers who effectively *built* the US in the late 1800’s, in my view. Just imagine where the US could be now if they had stuck to the railways and continued to develop them like Europe and the Japanese have…

The up-side is, that if Hyperloop ever gets going, you can leap-frog the rest of the world as you won’t have to compete with anything… But I’m not holding my breath!

Fedex and UPS have experimented a lot with hybrid vans since they do a lot of stop/start. Semis are a lot more expensive to hybridize, and they get little benefit because most of their miles are on the highway.

I definitely get your point, Someone. But . . . .

No amount of advertising can get the kind of buzz that we have seen for Tesla among ICE performance enthusiasts, then filtering down to the general public.

So think of an updated, maybe high performing, roadster as a piece of the advertising budget.

I wouldn’t dream of owning one. But three cheers for those that will!

But it’s more impressive and creates more buzz when a “normal” car has sports car performance, that is what the model S does. Then building a pickup truck that far outperforms the gas guzzlers would once again be more exciting than a new sports car.

Obviously, you forgot to translate that Maximum Plaid at something like under 2 Seconds in 0-60 MPH in a sports car, can be converted into 10,000 Lb Towing Capacity in a truck, just by changing gear ratio! So, such a lower volume sports car (in its Max performance options) would definitely lead to a great pickup!

Second, there are the folks who said a Coupe version of the Model S could get them onboard…how small a market segment is that? And, a Camaro beater in a new base model Tesla Sports car, would not be a bad thing!

With Racing Motorbikes like Killacycle blasting 0-60 in just under one second (0.8 @ 0-60), and the availabke new LS218 Electric Motorcycle, there seems no need to get all Legal with this car!

Interesting points.

I agree and disagree. Tesla’s current success is grounded in the excitement the Roadster began as a proof-of-concept vehicle. Musk says, “Tesla does not build slow cars!” – at the Model 3 reveal and he means it. Their mass production cars will be quicker than more conventional cars in each competing segment. Model 3’s likely successor will be the Model Y compact CUV version built upon the 3’s platform. Next seems to be the very affordable compact “Model C”? As the company has stated more than once it wants an even more affordable BEV on the market. Will Tesla then add a small CUV version of that car? Probably…And then the focus surely could be a pickup truck. That would rock Detroit’s world. That would mean war. By then – Tesla’s other models surely will have Detroit, Japan and S. Korea and Germany in all-out EV mode, making their own proprietary competitors to Tesla models. Musk is a young guy, and somehow I see his personality as wanting another pure sports car. There has been some talk of Musk leaving Tesla once Model 3 is established. I think for him to stay involved with the company – they need to… Read more »

Complete FUD! They make it sound like Tesla is some top of the line accelerating like no other, but the fact is, there are PLENTY (!) of cars that are quicker than Tesla Ludicrous.

Considering motorcycles that cost $10K can out accelerate Tesla P90DL, and it was available for purchase by any old fool, yet lawyers couldn’t sue deep pockets of Honda, etc. to stop such quick accelerating vehicles. Lawyers certainly would not go after Tesla that’s running on fumes.

An unsuspecting driver or passenger on a sport bike? Unlikely. This is about unexpected, silent, violent step-off.

Even if Tesla (or whatever) does 0-60 in 2.4 seconds, that’s about 1G of acceleration (1.4G including gravity). If that kills someone, simply jumping up and down on bed would’ve killed many people, and no one’s trying to sue bed makers.

And if you say silent surprise will kill, never mind that Tesla is far from silent when moving, then someone saying “boo” will kill, too. No one’s seriously considering outlawing surprising people.

This is just another Tesla lunacy, nothing more. As a Tesla fan myself, stuff like this actually make it seem like Tesla fans are bunch of idiots high on something.

First off, there are less than 5 production cars that are quicker than ludacris speed. In addition, only 2 motorcycles that are slightly faster.

And no doubt plaid mode will be the quickest production vehicle ever made.
But, you are correct that this is plenty survivable. Aerobatics and space come quickly to mind for acceleration.

P90DL is barely in high 10.9 sec quarter mile. My old 1984 motorcycle was high 10.9 quarter mile while many of today’s mid range bikes are even quicker. Some liter class break into high 9 second range. To say only 2 bikes are quicker than Tesla is ludicrous.

Only 5 production cars quicker? Ever pop a clutch in a gas car? That will throw you in far quicker acceleration than P90DL could ever muster, albeit for short time. Extended clutch riding will result in quicker than P90DL acceleration for many many cars. See can-stock-corvette-beat-tesla-p90dl blog post.

In addition, sudden hard braking on any car will result in quiet acceleration far greater than Tesla (or any car). No one’s talking about banning hard braking.

Going from 0 to 60 is not a problem, that’s what the head rest is for. 60 – 0 is the problem because the air bag isn’t resting on your face. stright line acceleration is not a problem.

Yep. It is indeed. But even then, we’re not talking about dangerous G’s untill we get into accident territory. Most sportscar brakes will overwhelm the tyre grip without abs, long before anything damaging happens… The onset of G (how fast it builds up) can also be more important than how much G is pulled per se (up to a point).

I believe you’re right – it is jerk (the rate of change of acceleration with respect to time) and not acceleration (the rate of change of speed with respect to time) that we humans can’t tolerate very well.

High G is of course an issue at some point, but road legal cars aren’t really near those limits. An ordinary, healthy individual should be in no danger from some F1 style cornering at 3-4 G. When TV presenters have been allowed to try it’s always their neck muscles that suffer, due to the combination of high Gs and a much heavier head because of the helmet – so that 3G is like 6G if you didn’t wear a helmet!

Interesting as it is to muse on these matters, I think Tesla should focus on Model 3 for now, and the next three years at minimum.

Tesla said that roadster 2 will be bigger. May be it will have and bigger battery which will make it havier.
Now the Roadster is really light(2880 lbs) for BEV with such battery.
If the new one weighs 3500 lbs with the power from P90DL will do 0-60mph in 2.3sec.
But after 3-4 years we could see more power from Tesla.

Injuries?!? What? From pulling 1.2Gs? Come oooonnn. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the accelleration of a S ludicrous is good,… For a car… Try aerobatic flying. +4 -2 Gs are beginner’s level! And those are along the normal axis, pulling blood away from the head under positive Gs, or pushing it hard into the head under negative G. The “G(s?)” in a Tesla are along the longitudinal axis. And as such much easier for the body to endure. Even the average human body can easily endure 3-4 Gs in that direction. Even the lateral G’s in regular road approved cars go up to a maximum of about 1,2. A little harder on the neck, but nothing like the 2-4 lateral G’s in F1 or DTM. Try advanced competition level aerobatics,… Those are G’s. I used to come back with bruises from the belts and popped vanes in my eyes, nose and neck.

Ok. Now we have somebody else that understands G’s.
And don’t forget that Tesla did the dragon seats as such, they are designed for 4g under normal circumstances ( 6 something in abort ).

I know G’s. They are what Tesla limits when you go around turns.

Ive started saving for the next gen roadster already. I see it as Elon’s last toy before he moves onto his next project and you can almost bet it will be the fastest 0-60 vehicle ever produced and make Veyrons look silly.

There’s more than 0-60 times, there’s better handling, torque vectoring, high torque at high rpm (we know how Tesla’s reduce their power at high speeds),…

For me, a pick up truck makes much more sense in terms of business opportunity, brand visibility and CO2 reduction.

The next gen of roadster does not need more acceleration (maybe just a bit), but a battery that resist 30 min in a circuit without any lack of power.

“What about outright acceleration? . . . The limits of the average human body”.

Just a minute there! That is just a little bit over the top, I think.

If I understand correctly, 1g is where the rubber meeting the road starts to get awkwardly interesting. A lot of effort is put into pushing the g-factor well up into 1.0+ territory, at least by drag racers and such.

And guess what? Lying on your back in bed introduces your body to 1g of (gravitational) acceleration. And your model S does only a smidgen more. Maybe.

The real factor here, of course, is the rate of change of acceleration – the neck snapping effect occurring when 1g+ comes on in an instant.

As regards actual acceleration; jet fighters are unaffected by any rubber-to-road constraints and can pull multiple g’s, in turns and dive bottom-outs for example, before the well acclimated pilot blacks out.

So I would argue that “. . . outright acceleration” is the wrong parameter to get worked up about!

>>>”Just a minute there!

It’s Tesla Mondo, helping to boost Tesla’s confidence until its too much again.

What’s the big deal. Tesla just needs to put inertial dampeners in. Then switch the battery from lithium ion to dilithium crystal.

Tesla designed and built the seats for dragon v2. If they can handle 4g in those seats, then tesla can designs seats for roadster and make it handle this easily.

this is a stupid headline. shouldn’t it read that the performance of the tesla roadster is limited by safety concerns???

No. This is a case of an author thinking that Tesla will limit this to avoid lawsuits. They will not.
Instead, every time that you want plaid speed,u will hit a button. Upon the driver leaving, it will reset.

Btw, a 0-60 of 1 sec is less than 3G, and 2 sec is less than 1.3G.
Humans can easily take 3 Gs

Exactly. Anyone healthy enough to walk and sit to the car without medical assistance is healthy enough to manage sub 2 sec 0 to 60.

Aren’t you a bit late for April 1st?

I know several younger people that are not married yet and have the money and are much more interested in the roadster compared to a family car like model S and X. The market is there, and the promise by Elon to serve it still stands. Their main focus is on the other end of the spectrum now though – affordable mass car model 3 and 4.

The 1973 Porsche 917/30 CAN-AM Spider did 0-62 in 1.9 seconds. Regarded by many racing historians as the most powerful race car to have ever turned a wheel on asphalt. I don’t think the Roadster Gen 2 will be that quick.

That was a 1500 hp car, right? So we know what they’d be shooting for.

Quick acceleration has nothing to do with the “power source” now. Guys are able to build street racers with 1000 hp, and they don’t break any necks.

Acceleration from 0-60 is more about tires and grip than raw power (past 500hp ish). Sure they could put super sticky race tires on, but they would only last 500 miles and wouldn’t be street legal.

The only reason a Tesla Model S is fast is because the traction control is really good at keeping the wheels from slipping so it can get off the line very fast. That and the instant, highly controllable torque you get from an electric motor.

When it comes to cornering, it would be really difficult for the roadster to outperform a normal ICE because of the battery weight. The only thing they can do is the clever power to the outside wheel and breaking to the inside that Mercedes did with the SLS AMG electric.

In the end, I’m not holding out for a roadster being anything amazing. It’ll be good, but compared to a Ferrari, Lambo, McLaren, or Porsche, I don’t think it’ll be anything special.

Agreed. I think the sweet spot for an electric sports car is well below competing with the likes of Ferarri. Something more “pedestrian” like an S2000 is a much better target. So you focus on the entire package; keep it light, keep it nimble. Don’t break your back (and the bank!) over raw power or range. I would love an EV with ~200 miles of range, 0-60 under 5s, yet light enough to carve corners as well as my old S2000.

So how many G’so when you stomp on the brakes? We need to limit braking power!

The g force fade off after 40mph or something and if the take off is a bit more gradual they could definitely come down to around 2,5s without any neck problems. No one will faint until you approach 0-60 at 2s.

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Roadster were slower 0-60 than whatever the fastest Model S will be by the time they build the Roadster (P125DP?).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Roadster were RWD only, and the Model S becomes AWD only.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Roadster beat the Model S around the track, and from 40-80 MPH, from 0-100-0, and pulled more lateral G’s, and beat the Model S in every single other performance metric besides 0-60.

And I don’t see any problem with that either.

I actually expected this to be an issue years ago. Especially after the D models were introduced.

Yes… you can stuff 2000hp into your old Chevy Nova, but it is all about hooking it up and creating those high instantaneous G forces.

At some point I expect legal limits to be put in place.

Have your fun while you can before regulators ruin it like anything else.

All overseas territories will get a new performance mode above “Maximum Plaid” called “Banned in the USA!”

Roadster shouldn’t be quicker than Model S in 0-60mph if it is only RWD.

Most EV supporters don’t get the fact about Performance cars need to be awesome more than 0-60mph.

it needs superb handling and braking. The Roadster will be equally fast in 0-60mph but faster in 1/4 miles and top speed.

It will be probably RWD for handling reasons and it will outhandle the Model S by a long shot. It will be far lighter.

Tesla already said that Model S 0-30mph is traction limited and 30-60mph is power limited.

So, it is highly likely that lighter Roadster will be equally fast or slightly slower in 0-30mph but slightly faster in 30-60mph with similar or slower 0-60mph times but makes up in the top speed with a much lower weight.

Actually, I for one are surprised Tesla’s legal team didn’t speak up when Tesla’s seat designers did not design seats with adjustable head rests.. this fixed head reasts are not at the proper head height for every driver or passenger and can not be adhusted.. they really only properly provide support for a small height ranged human.. shorter and taller folks are not served or protected properly by them.. to have a vehicle which offers such sudden acceleration as this.. and have a mediocre head restraint system that Tesla provides.. really causes me to pause.. and ask.. Is design number one or actual performance in design?